Every year, our partners in Kachin State, Myanmar provide the children who attend our Early Childhood Development centres with a new set of warm clothes to help them stay warm during the winter months. The children received their parcels in December 2021 and were absolutely delighted with their new clothes. The children were even happier to return to their preschools to show off their new clothes in January after many months of closures.
Thank you so much for your donations throughout the year that help to make this all happen.
Over five days in December, just before Christmas, packages of warm clothes were handed out to 340 children aged 3-5 years old in Kachin State, Myanmar, where we support education for children displaced by conflict.
Living in remote mountain camps, where temperatures can get pretty cold, these clothes are a welcome sight for the children who get very excited to collect them.
These parcels were particularly crucial this year as many parents are struggling financially more than ever thanks to ongoing crises in the country. A separate humanitarian effort has by our partners has recently ensured that around 970 families in Kachin received food parcels, as many are struggling to find enough food to eat as a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, conflict and most recently border closures with China, which has stopped goods and services coming into the camps.
The clothing parcels included hats, coats, trousers, socks and shoes, and the children were particularly delighted to receive their new wardrobe just in time for Christmas.
"I am very happy, I will wear these when I go to church, Christmas is drawing near, and I will participate in the event with my new clothes!”
While five-year-old Tawng Bi Bi had her sights set on being smart for school, saying: “Thank you very much teacher, I will come to class in my new clothes when the school opens”.
The children are still getting use our of the clothes provided in 2020, with five-year-old Labang Seng Hkawn Ra telling us that she still wears them. Many have been passed down to younger siblings.
Even just unpacking the clothes bought a lot of joy for the children. Five-year-old Gumrai Lu Htoi Hkawng from Pajau Early Childhood Development centre has been really missing playing with her friends at school throughout lockdown. She got upset when it came to collecting her clothes as the teachers had to wear surgical masks and gowns, so she didn’t recognise them.
One of her teachers lowered their mask and invited her to come and open the parcel. The little girl could see her friends all around her opening the new clothes and stopped crying, asking her mum to help her unpack the warm clothes. Once she’d tried them on she said:
"Mum!!! They are very beautiful; I like them very much!“, the teachers said she began to jump and clap, shouting “Yeah!!! I am very happy today”.
After that she grabbed her mother’s hand and went back home all smiles. Thank you so much to our supporters, whose generous donations in 2021 helped to make this all possible.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTRES BACK OPEN
As a result of COVID-19, the 14 centres we support have been closed for the majority of the past year, with staff focused on supporting home learning instead. But thankfully all the centres reopened in the first few weeks of January 2022 and 377 children are looking forward to getting back into learning and playing together!
The number of children at the centres has decreased slightly this year as many families have been displaced by fighting and lack of resources, but we hope and expect attendance will rise again throughout 2022.
Keep an eye on our latest stories for updates from the centres as the children get used to being back in class again.